Authors dish out tips on eating etiquette
Business professionals find themselves entertaining and eating business more often as they climb the corporate ladder, says etiquette expert Barbara Pachter. But if the pros can't handle themselves at lunch or dinner, why should employers think they could handle the big account or a bigger job?
Here are Pachter's top picks for the business meal blunders to avoid:
Holding up the order. Don't ask the waiter to explain everything on the menu. Such people will come across as indecisive and annoying.
Ordering messy meals. Stick to a manageable meal you can eat with a fork.
Taking someone else's bread or drinking out of another person's glass. In most place settings, your bread plate is on their left and your water glass is on the right.
Drinking too much alcohol. It's always better and safer to abstain. If you drink, limit yourself to one glass.
Fighting over the check. The host is the person who did the inviting and that person pays the bill, regardless of gender.
Pachter's newsletter, Competitive Edge, contains tips and strategies for business professionals.
Ants provide lesson in company production
Ants are teaching some companies how to improve their operations.
Bios Group, a Santa Fe, N.M.-based company that uses a branch of managerial science to solve business problems, has developed a mathematical formula based on the behavior of ants to design corporate strategies.
Stuart Kauffman, the company's founder, said ants tend to gravitate toward the food source that is closest to their nests. As they return from the supply, the ants leave behind a pheromone trail, leading their brethren to the same place.
Kauffman said the formula based on this activity enables companies to determine the best way to produce their goods in the shortest time.
Name that company
I was launched in 1963 with $5,000. Today I'm the largest direct seller of skin-care products in the United States, with annual sales topping $1 billion. My independent sales force is composed of more than 750,000 people in some 35 countries. My founder used the Golden Rule as her guiding philosophy, and encouraged employees and sales-force members to prioritize their lives: God first, family second, career third. (She's written several best sellers, too.) Today, I hold a 17 percent share of the men's skin-care market. Some of my top salespeople travel in something that Bruce Springsteen has sung about. Who am I?